Life Time raises $702 million in latest IPO

Life Time had a weak finish to its first day of being a public company again on Thursday, after the Chanhassen-based company downsized its initial offering of stock, selling fewer shares at the lower end of its previously disclosed price range.

The company still raised $702 million, selling 39 million shares at $18 a share. The shares ended the day down 1.4% at $17.75.

“This has been a fantastic demonstration of the resilience of our team and working through the challenges,” said Bahram Akradi, the company’s founder and chief executive, in an interview Thursday. “The company is in an amazing position, and membership is coming back strong. We have more growth opportunities than ever before. The company is really positioned well as a ‘healthy way of life’ company.”

Founded in 1992, the health club and wellness company was a public company from 2004 through 2015 before Akradi and private equity investors took the company private. Even with shares trading, Life Time will be considered a “controlled company” because those owners will continue to own the majority of it.

The company last month said it would sell shares between $18 to $21 per share. At the top end of the range the company could have raised about $1 billion and eclipsed the previous largest IPO by Bloomington-based Bright Health, which raised $924 million in its IPO earlier this year.

Underwriters of Life Time’s current offering have an option to sell an additional 5.85 million shares in an overallotment.

“As we begin this next phase in our company’s history, the transition from private to public will strengthen our strategy to provide members with the best experiences and programs in the best places and via the best digital platform, delivered by the best people and performers, “Akradi said in a news release.

The company has a new ticker symbol, LTH, and the parent company name is Life Time Group Holdings Inc.

As a private company, Life Time expanded into more markets, opened more health clubs, expanded its health and wellness services and expanded into co-working spaces. It also changed its real estate model from primarily owning the land under its clubs to leasing it.

The company now has 153 premium fitness centers in 29 states and Canada, including 24 locations in Minnesota. The company also has a growing digital membership for its virtual classes, and it sponsors more than 30 athletic events nationally.

The company had $2.4 billion in debt as of June 30, from going private and transactions during the years of private ownership. Proceeds of the public offering will be used to repay long-term debts.

In its first IPO in 2004, Life Time raised $183 million by selling 9.9 million shares, about 30% of the company, at $18.50 a share. At the time, it had 34 fitness centers in eight states, including 14 clubs in Minnesota.

“The fact that we were able to accomplish this again shows well about the pedigree of the brand, the capability of the brand and the culture of the company,” Akradi said.

Life Time expanded over the past year, adding more locations and members. Its annual revenue peaked in 2019 at $1.9 billion. The coronavirus pandemic had an adverse impact on all health club companies due to government-mandated shutdowns and hesitancy from members to return to workouts with other people in enclosed spaces.

In 2020, Life Time’s annual revenue declined to $948 million, but in recent quarters membership numbers have rebounded and revenue for the six months ended June 30 was up 18% from the first six months of 2020.

Favorable market conditions have encouraged more companies to go public this year, including Minnesota companies Bright Health, Agiliti Health Inc., CVRx Inc., Sun Country Airlines, SkyWater Technology Inc. and Miromatrix Medical Inc.

According to Renaissance Capital, a Connecticut-based company that follows IPOs and has IPO investment products, 318 companies with a market cap greater than $50 million have completed IPOs in 2021, up 107% from the same point in 2020.

Shares of Life Time began by trading down more than 4% at one point Thursday but recovered during the day.

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